Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 11 July

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 11 July 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, we are hoping that you are well but if not, please let us know. Just a reminder that if you or anyone you know needs prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

I am extremely grateful to God for His light. John, the apostle, spoke of God the Son, coming to this world to give light to everyone. I am grateful that He personifies light (John 1:8-9) and in Him, there is no darkness. As a matter of fact, darkness cannot overcome the light (John 1:5).

Having come to the world to give light, He granted me the opportunity for rebirth. The rebirth that I experienced is not of the flesh but of God. God is a Spirit (John 1:12-13). The result is that I became a child of God, born of God; that is, born of the Spirit of God. He had already designed it that I would have been made in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Regardless of my physical looks, my character should reflect that of God. I am grateful that I am His image bearer, and as such, I am a bearer of light.

Jesus, the Son of God, in His sermon on the Mount of Olives declared that You are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5:14, NIV). He went on to use the analogy of “… a town built on a hill.” (Matthew 5:14, NIV). It is in sight and seen by all and “…cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, NIV). He gave further support to His declaration by stating that “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:15, NIV). It means that as His image-bearer I was made to shine, to give light.

I noticed though that if I am not careful when I face the challenges of life I may be tempted to retreat and hide. You see, the king of darkness has been trying to put out our lights. He sets up altars against some of us. Whether you acknowledge it yes or no, the kingdom of darkness tries to mimic God so he sets up altars. He has been trying to taint us, to injure us, to destroy us and our possessions. At times, it becomes so persistent and seemingly unending. He also tries to conquer our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves so some of us struggle on life’s journey.  

When I feel discouraged and tired, I have to go and look in the mirror. I have to go to the One whose image I reflect, to reconvene my thoughts so that I do not walk around with a misconstrued belief of myself. I have to remind myself of who I am, that as His image-bearer, I was made to shine, to give light.

Every time something bad happens, I have to regain my footing. I have to decide whether or not to stand. I have to allow myself to be refreshed through prayer and fasting etc. I have to remind myself that the power of God Almighty cannot be subsumed by or into the power of another. I have to hold on to that belief. Otherwise, I would be walking around with a form of godliness but denying the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5).

One more thing, He did not just make me. He equips me with great gifts and abilities (1 Corinthians 12). He strengthens me. God allows me to face many challenges but I have to affirm that He remains the Master potter (Isaiah 29:16) as He prepares me to reflect His image. This may take a lot of heat. The hotter the heat, the brighter the image will shine. The more He works on me, the more wholesome I become. He will then call me His masterpiece because He restores.

You may ask, what is the reason for all that…? Let us look at something else that Jesus said.  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV). We are here on earth for a greater good, to accomplish His purpose. We are required to shine. What does that look like for you? As you face each experience, are you flicked on? Are you shining?

I will tell you something. I know a young man who sells foodstuffs including fruits on the roadside. He has a spot with the necessary setup. I recognised him from out-of-town. Yesterday morning, I was on my way to the hill walk when I heard him in a quarrel with a man from a nearby community. He was upset so I spoke with him. He responded with a few words but was affirming confidence in himself.

I went across to the other man. I heard someone calling him by name so I addressed him by that name. I encouraged him to calm down. I also told him that I know the guy selling the food. He was exalting himself, more or less chucking badness. Anyway, I discovered that he wanted the guy to give him some stuff for little or no funds. He eventually calmed down and everything seemed okay so I went on my way. I walked away with the hope that as light, that darkness was overcome.

You know, it happened so many times where some people want to reap what others have sown. They want a claim on the fruits of others who took a lot of resources to bring them to wholesomeness. Yes, we are called to share as the Lord requires but there are those who operate as if they are entitled to the things of others.   

I was still on my way up to the hill. As I turned a corner near to the actual hill climb where there is an East Indian mango tree, my favourite, I saw a big nice mango on the ground slightly in the middle of the road. Immediately a vehicle was making a turn. The person stopped and went for the mango. I looked at him and said it was mine. He picked it up, brushed it off, thought for a few seconds and handed it to me. I told him that it was okay. He is to have it.

The truth is the mango did not belong to either of us but I imagined that his taste buds tantalized as his eyes made contact with it. My eyes lit when I saw the mango but I wondered if he would have run the vehicle over it. It never crossed my mind that he would have wanted it. It so happened that later that evening, one of my clients took an East Indian mango for me. Wow! Thanks be to God.

The Lord still had another assignment for me to shine. On my way back home I saw a Sister who has been ill. I spoke with her and she updated me on her current state. I was standing at her gate but was led to pray for her. So I prayed, encouraged her, and blessed her. Later that night I had to assist someone who was in deep distress. I give you all of the glory, Lord.

Recently, I spoke about certain kings in the Bible and the good and bad fruit that they produced. One could also look at them in the context of the light and darkness that they shed. They did not know and worship God in the right way and they were inconsistent. We are told that; … Amaziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father David had done. In everything, he followed the example of his father Joash. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.” (2 Kings 14:1, 3-4, NIV).

We also read where, “…Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became king in Samaria…” He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” (2 Kings 14:23-24, NIV). Yet we are told that “He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea.” (2 Kings 14:25-27, NIV).

Where do you stand, as an image-bearer, as light? Who gets the glory? “Think bout it, chat bout it.” What are you going to do about it?

Let us pray:

Most righteous and adorable Father, we honour and acknowledge You as Lord, God and Saviour over our lives. We praise You for your awesomeness. We give You all of the glory, honour and praise for You have created all things. You are above all else and Your power has not and will never be diminished.

Lord, we thank You for this another day, another week, and another opportunity to shine in the dark places of this world. We thank You for another opportunity to be a good fruit that will bring about good flavour and taste.

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, thanking You for renewed mercies on us as individuals, families, communities, businesses and government; and as a country. We pray that Your kingdom comes and only Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven concerning each of our lives. Grant us provisions. Lord, forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Help us to forgive those who trespass against us and use us for their selfish gains. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from ALL evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Lord, may You bless us and keep us, cause Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. Turn your face towards us, and give us your peace. Amen

Lord, we pray for all leaders of our country. We pray especially for our church leaders, the Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health and Wellness, Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Nigel Clarke, health workers and support staff, Minister of Education, Youth and the Environment, Fayval Williams; Minister of National Security, Horace Chang and his team, Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, and the leader of the opposition Mark Golding and his team. We also remember the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

Lord, we present to You those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Nicole Evans, Kadene Stewart, Iris Lawrence, Merle Braham, Valerie Smellie, Lelith James, Jennifer Nicholson, Virginia Muir, Marville (Cherry) Murray (Sister Iris Lawrence’s daughter), Janet Chen-Young, Joyce Bailey, Lucille Alexander, Jhada Graham, Cherrie Lee; Brother George Gabbidon, Brother Lloyd Trusty, Mr Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father), Sister Jennifer Japp who mourns the loss of her father, Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr Isaiah Japp, Mr Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband),

Lord, we ask that You protect us from the wiles of evil in whatever way or form it manifests. Help us not to lose hope but grant unto us Your peace and compassion. Hear O Lord, have mercy on us, and attend to our prayers we ask with thanksgiving in Jesus’ name.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you also need prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would gladly share with you.

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